What Good is the UN?

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine and resulting geopolitical instability have caused many to draw parallels to the events preceding World War II. In the post-war years, the international community came together to establish institutions they believed would prevent worldwide conflict and genocide. Multiple conventions and treaties have since been ratified in an effort to stave off the next world war. Yet in the wake of alleged atrocities in Bucha, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky felt compelled to challenge the UN Security Council to “dissolve yourselves altogether” if nothing more than talk is possible. Are our international institutions and laws a failed enterprise? If not, what reforms are possible that might enhance their effectiveness?

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